A LEADING car dealership is asking its shareholders for £232m in a bid to shore up its balance sheet.
Inchcape, which has more than 100 retail centres in the UK and sells marques including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, is offering new shares at an 88% discount to the company’s share price on Wednesday night.
It said the rights issue proceeds would be used to reduce debt – £408m at the end of last year – and delay the need to refinance existing bank facilities until the end of 2012.
The company has already responded to the slump in the car industry by cutting 2,000 jobs and introducing a salary freeze.
Inchcape also reported a 19% fall in pre-tax profits to £190.7m despite a 12% reduction in costs.